With almost 26 percent of Americans over the age of 18 struggling with a diagnosable mental disorder in a year, there is a dire need for effective therapeutic strategies.
When such a large proportion of the population is battling with mental illnesses, psychologists and mental health counselors are working harder to find effective strategies to help them cope. Among the variety of theories and strategies that have been popularized over the years, reality therapy emerges.
What is Reality Therapy?
This therapeutic approach is the brainchild of Dr. William Glasser in the 1960s and it arrives at the issue of trauma and growth from a different approach. This cognitive-behavioral psychotherapeutic approach is centered on the client and their choices.
Working on the principles of choice theory, Reality Therapy emphasizes the current behaviors and actions that can bear fruit for the individual. This is a departure from previous approaches that place great importance on past events and working through the traumas that define people.
With Reality Therapy, you are not a sum of the things that have happened to you. Instead of looking back at the darkness, you’re encouraged to look ahead at the goals ahead of you—beckoning you with glimmering hope and anticipation.
How does it work?
As a mental health counselor and psychologist, it’s necessary for you to embrace new approaches that can revolutionize your relationship with your client. Reality Therapy is one such therapy.
The fundamentals of Reality Therapy are focused on fulfilling the unmet needs of an individual. As these needs are met, people can take charge of their behavior instead of attempting to alter those around them.
The psychological needs that Reality Therapy focuses on are:
- Freedom—the desire to be an independent individual
- Power—your sense of self-worth is intricately tied with achieving the things you want
- Survival—it’s only when the primal need for safety and protection are met that a person can venture forward for personal improvement
- Belonging and love—a sense of community and mutual love and appreciation
- Enjoyment—the sense of pleasure is a motivating factor for people on their self-improvement journey
According to Reality Therapy, a person’s current unhappiness or problems stem from the un-fulfillment of their psychological needs. And, thus, the clients can focus on ways they can alter their behavior to meet these needs.
How can it help realize your goals?
Dwelling in the past can’t mend your present or future. Looking ahead with Reality Therapy lets you work out actionable solutions that you can dedicate time and effort to.
As a mental health counselor, psychologist, or social worker, you can focus on empowering your patients to take control of their lives. When they feel like they have a semblance of control over events, they’ll develop a positive outlook on the things around them.
This problem-solving approach can combat the feelings of hopelessness and learned helplessness that plagues individuals who are dealing with addiction, depression, and eating disorders. You can set healing goals for your client and celebrate the milestones they reach along the way to a healthier, happier life.
Whether you’ve recently become a mental health professional or been practicing for a decade, there’s always room for learning. Expand your knowledge and polish your skills from the comfort of your home or office with E Care Behavioral Health Institute.
Our CEU programs for mental health professionals and training for social workers are geared towards imparting valuable knowledge and keeping you updated with the latest concepts and practices.
Our online workshops, live webinars, recorded webinars, and seminars are the perfect way to enhance your knowledge and skills. Look into our course, Discovering Responsible Therapy, to learn more about empowering your clients.